Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits to entering the LOUIEs?
- Please see the Why Enter the LOUIE Awards? page
What are the LOUIEs?
The LOUIEs are often referred to as the “Oscars" of the greeting card industry. This program celebrates the best and the brightest in the industry by awarding winning cards and companies in over 50 categories.
When are submissions accepted?
- Submissions are accepted from September 9th - January 17th, 2020. Card samples must be recieved no later than January 17th, 2020 to be considered for judging.
When are winners announced?
- Winners are announced live and in person at the LOUIEs celebration at the Annual LOUIE Award Celebration. A press release, Facebook Gallery, Pinterest Board and link to the winners are all available the following day when winners are announced to the public.
What are the submission requirements?
- In order to enter your submission, a card must have been marketed or sold in the U.S. during the 2019 calendar year and come from a total combined run of 200 or more (50 or more in the case of Invitations, Announcements, and Photo Cards).
- No samples or prototypes are accepted.
- No cards that have been entered in previous years may be re-entered, except in the category of Rising Star.
How does judging work?
- Judges score each entry from 1 to 10 based on five criteria: originality, impact, design excellence, sendability, and value.
- Entrants conceal company information and distinguishing features of cards so that the judging is as fair and unbiased as possible.
How much does it cost to enter the LOUIEs?
- Entry fees are $55 for GCA members and $75 for nonmembers. (Prices increase by $10 for each category after November 15, 2019, and again after December 18, 2019).
- If you are not a GCA member but are interested in becoming one, visit www.greetingcard.org or call 202.216.9627 for more information.
How many cards am I allowed to enter?
- You may enter as many cards as you’d like in as many categories as you wish.
- Any number of cards may be entered in a single category, but only the highest scoring card from a company will be selected as a finalist in each category.
- You may enter the same card in multiple categories, but it will only be eligible for becoming a finalist in the category in which it receives the highest score. The exceptions to this rule are Rising Star, Print and Production Excellence, and Letterpress categories.
What if my wedding invitation suite uses a printing method not listed?
Use your best judgment to decide if the card fits better with the more costly methods listed under Classic or with the less expensive methods under standard. If you can’t determine, contact us to ask for help at 202.216.9627 or email@example.com.
How many samples should I send?
Revised Rules for the Submission of Hard Sample Cards and Invitations (effective September 9, 2019)
Once you have submitted one or more entries online for judging, you will need to immediately mail two card samples to GCA Headquarters for each entry.
For the first sample, your company’s information, pricing, and any other identifiable markings must be completely covered. This sample will be used during the “live” judging process.
For the second sample, no adjustments / coverings are needed. If your entry is chosen as a finalist, this sample will be photographed and the images will be shared as part of early promotion of the finalist entries.
Due to our very tight production schedule, we ask that you submit both samples at the time of entry so that there is no delay in preparing the cards for judging and, if all goes well, promotion of your finalist entry!
Also note that, if one or more of your cards / invitations are chosen as finalists, you will be contacted and asked to mail four more samples. These samples will be used during the LOUIEs Awards display at the LOUIE Celebration, and during Noted: Greeting Card Expo 2020 in May. A sample may also be used for our Consumer’s Choice Award contest. Our goal is to ensure that we have a pristine sample of your entry on hand throughout the campaign, in order to ensure that you are recognized for your great work! If you have questions or concerns regarding this, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
See the checklist for card submissions before sending. Cards without logos properly concealed will not be eligible for judging.
• For submissions to the Rising Star category: Mail two sets of five cards / invitations, for a total of 10 cards / invitations (both sets much match the cards / invitations submitted online). If chosen as a finalist, you will be asked to submit an additional 4 identical sample sets of each entry. See above ‘Revised Rules for Submission of Sample Cards and Invitations’.
• For submissions to the Letterpress category: Mail two sets of three cards, for a total of 6 cards (both sets much match the cards submitted online). If chosen as a finalist, you will be asked to submit an additional 4 identical sample sets of each entry. See above ‘Revised Rules for Submission of Sample Cards and Invitations’.
• If your entry is a boxed set, please send two entire sets 'as sold'. This is inclusive of the packaging for the boxed set. If chosen as a finalist, you will be asked to submit an additional 4 identical sample sets of each entry.
• For wedding invitations, please include the entire suite.
• If you have questions regarding how to cover company information, pricing, and other identifiable information for boxed sets or invitations, please contact our office.
Do I have to do anything to my card samples before sending them?
- Yes! There are several modifications required before you mail your samples. Please review the “Revised Rules for the Submission of Hard Sample Cards and Invitations“ and see the checklist for card submissions before sending. Cards without logos properly concealed will not be eligible for judging.
What should I include when I send in my entries?
- The envelope and any packaging that is sold with the card.
- The invoice (first page only!)
- If sending samples of multiple entries, please attach (or fold sheet and insert card into) invoice for each entry. Mark or identify which card corresponds with which entry number. See the checklist for card submissions before sending.
Where should I send my entry samples?
Entries should be sent to:
Greeting Card Association
Attn: LOUIE Awards
1120 20th St. NW Suite 750
Washington, DC 20036-3441
Once I send in my entries, what happens?
GCA staff will code and catalog your entries to get them ready for judging. You do not need to follow up–if there is a discrepancy or question, we will contact you. Finalists will be announced in mid-February!
Can I have an extension on the deadline?
We may be able to accommodate a limited number of deadline extensions. Please contact us to request an extension and let us know the categories you are hoping to enter.
Who should I contact with questions?
If you have a question, please contact us at 202.216.9627 or email@example.com.